HF Active Antennas!

Status
Not open for further replies.

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,461
Location
Somewhere On Earth
Hello All!
I'm just curious, what your thoughts are on indoor active antennas. I am looking to put a small SWL listening set up in a room where snaking in coax or long wires is just not a possibility. This is not meant to replace my main set up, but as a small area where I can listen to a few good stations with the rest of the family. I dont want to fire up the big rigs with all the accessories just for some simple monitoring from my recliner. I will be using a small portable radio (G5) to do my monitoring. I m just curious if the active antennas do any better than the telescopic that comes with the radio.

Manny
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,484
Location
Bowie, Md.
Yes, they would work somewhat better than the usual throw the wire on the floor trick. However, be careful about the gain - too much and you'll simply overload the radio.

That being said, I understand the North Country Active Antenna - which is, rarest of the rare, a kit - will do a very good job on portables with just a few component changes. Active loops such as the Kaito are another good choice, since loops do a good job of cutting down certain kinds of noise. Even that short RadioMaster antenna Universal sells might be worth looking into, since it used a MLB to cut noise pickup - which is the enemy of doing HF indoors. I used one briefly at the Winterfest and it was more than good enough for the usual HF bands (though the response does drop off quite a bit for 60 and 90 mb - but who listens to those bands in the summer anyway? hi). It's not active, of course, but most portables have enough gain in the usual bands anyway...

73 Mike
 
Last edited:

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,461
Location
Somewhere On Earth
Thanks Mike!
Im trying to set up a little something in the main part of the house. It would take a ridiculous amount of drilling and such to reach that area from the outside. I want to keep things as simple as possible. Its only a sit back and relax room so no serious DX hunting here........I will look into the ones you mentioned. My Gap Challenger would be somewhat of an overkill....;-) LOL!

Manny
 

lanbergld

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
200
Location
Richmond VA
I do much better with 'passive' antennas indoors, many of them homemade, than I do with "Active Antennas". IC-R75, Yaesu FRG-100 and Kenwood R-1000, doesn't matter. I'd tried many Active Antennas in the past -- all of them increase Gain yes, but also they increase noise. They increase noise so bad that I personally consider them a sham!

I can pick up the Royal Air Force in England very clearly (from indoors in Richmond VA) by looping 63' (insulated) 16-gauge wire around my window, being sure to make a closed loop by putting the other 'free end' into my ground terminal. I cannot get this kind of distant reception with "Active Antennas" -- the added noise simply drowns-out the station!

Anyway, that's my personal experience.
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
The only active indoor antenna I'd bother with is a loop. At least a loop can be oriented to reduce noise pickup. On the other hand, I have had great success with outdoor active antennas, locating them as far as possible from noise sources. I've had some bring signals in with a better s/n ratio than larger wire antennas.
 

oneirish

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
33
I've used active antennas from Sony and some very expensive ones from Dressler. None have ever outperformed a wire hanging out of a window or running around the window and most won't even do that well. If you live in a busy metro area with lost of broadcast or rf activity, I'd try anything before an active.
 

andrewccm

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
286
Location
Dallas/Fort Worth
I personally found if you don't have the option (or choose not to run wire out the window and around your yard) that active antennas actually help alleviate much of the rf noise that comes from within you home. My house is full of wireless routers and bridges, cell phones, you name it. Wire hung in window and even in the attic was a disaster. NOISE... The Sony loop helped quite a bit... but not as much as running shielded coax outside and then grounding it along with a 50ft wire in the trees. I think an active loop is a good compromise in between when you have a lot of RF but not a desire/option for outdoor antenna or wire.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top